TORONTO — Marking its largest multiple-theater deal in Asia, Imax Corp. has inked with Chinese exhibitor Wanda Cinema Line Corp. to install ten Imax screens in multiplexes in China.
“China continues to be a key strategic growth market for Imax, and our partnership with Wanda Cinema Line — an exhibitor and property developer — gives us the opportunity to significantly expand our audience base and ultimately drive greater interest in the region,” said Imax co-CEOs and co-chairmen Rich Gelfond and Brad Wechsler.
The first three screens will use Imax’s economical MPX theater technology and the remaining seven its new digital projection technology, which is skedded to roll out towards the end of 2008
“For us the transition from film to digital is crucial because of all the money we’re going to save on print costs,” Gelfond said.
Wanda Cinema Line is the fastest growing exhib in China with 121 screens in 15 locations. The Imax screens are to be installed in new multiplexes in cities including Changsha, Changchun, Beijing, Chongqing and Wuxi. The first two screens will be installed in December, with the remainder on stream by the end of 2010.
The deal means that Imax will have 39 screens open in China.